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AstraZeneca jab approved in New Zealand

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Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 and older.

Cabinet is yet to consider whether to use the AstraZeneca vaccine in New Zealand, but it would allow donations to Pacific countries.

The news removes another stumbling block for supplying more vaccines to places like Fiji, where Covid-19 continues to run rampant and health systems are struggling to keep up.

The government secured enough doses for 3.8 million people through an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca last year.

Acting Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall says officials were working with the company to confirm delivery schedules, and the first delivery could arrive by late August.

Verrall says New Zealand's vaccination plan remained focused on the Pfizer vaccine, which would be available to all in the country who wished to have one by the end of 2021.

  •   •  RNZ

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